JAMAICA, NY—To the legion of fans Lionel Pickens acquired in his short career, the MC known as Chinx (and formerly Chinx Drugz) was destined to become one of the next crop of budding hip-hop stars hailing out of New York City. But to his family and close friends, the fallen rapper was remembered most as a family man. That was the sentiment at his funeral service earlier today (May 26) where he was laid to rest.
Ten days after his untimely death, which sent shockwaves across the music industry, the funeral service for Chinx was held at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Zion Church in Queens, just a few miles away from where the 31-year-old MC was gunned down.
“Lionel was the type of person that when you would see him he was smiling, in person or even in pictures” his aunt Sabrina Pickens reflected. "You could always see the dimples in his face. He was a family man. He loved his family like no one could imagine. Lionel was always a shining star so when you look up in the sky he’s that shining star.”
Fans began lining up on Merrick Blvd around 9:30 a.m. to pay their final respects to the rising rapper who had a promising career before his life was abruptly cut short on the morning of May 17. A number of Chinx’ close music comrades, including Vado, Maino, DJ Clue, French Montana and their Coke Boys faction, all showed strong support for the young wordsmith alongside his mother, wife and three children. At one moment during the service French was seen snapping a photo with Chinx’ young son “Nugget,” which he later elaborated on in a message on his Instagram account.
“Always smiling even when it's hard, just like his father!” French posted. “This home of ours ain't perfect, but rest in peace in your perfect home now, my brother. Sometimes life hurts more than death when you lose a loved one. Terrible to love something that death can touch.#ripchinx #realone”
One of the most touching moments during the service came when Chinx’ cousin Norman Seabrook, head of the Correctional Services for New York City, spoke on his interaction while holding the younger Pickens who was viewing the body of his father for the final time.
“His son comes up to me, Nugget, and I pick him up, and he says ‘Is that a God box?’ And I said, It’s a God box. And he looked at me and tears began to roll down my face. And he said to me ‘When is he going to wake up to come home?’ And I said, He’s sleeping right now, you’ll see him again. And he said, ‘When?’ And I said, I don’t know when. But he’s up in God’s house living.
Chinx’ death marks the latest spike in the ascending murder rate that has rocked the New York City area just five months into the new year. The Queens rapper was returning from a show in Brooklyn at Club Red Wolf when an unknown assailant drove alongside his Porche Carrera in the Briarwood section of Queens firing off a number of rounds into the vehicle, striking Chinx and severely injuring his friend. Chinx’s murder eerily follows in the footsteps of close friend and rap ally, Stack Bundles, who was also killed in similar fashion in the pair’s stomping grounds in Far Rockaway.
“I’m always speaking about gun violence,” Seabrook continued. “I’m always talking about how kids are killing each other. How they’re shooting each other. How one person is dead and another person goes to prison. They’re dead too. We have to do better than this. We must do better than this.”
As of press time no arrests have been made in Chinx’s case and police are continuing to investigate.
REVOLT would like to extend our condolences to the family of Lionel Pickens.
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